Monday, December 11, 2017

Ms. Alison's Favorites of 2017

So many great books were published this past year. I wish I had time to read them all! It's challenging to narrow down the best books of the year, but here are some of my favorites from 2017.

Picture Books 

Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds
In the follow up to Creepy Carrots, Buster the bunny is back. This time though, instead of carrots creeping there is a strange pair of green glowing underwear. This book is hilarious, goofy, and just weird enough to be perfect.
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
This is a story of a unicorn named Kelp who lives under the sea with a group of narwhals. Something's not quite right, so Kelp goes off searching for a place to fit in. It's a sweet story about belonging, identity, being true to yourself and finding family and love. Plus, kelp is totally adorable.


The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
Twelve year old MalĂș moves away from her Dad and everything she's ever known to Chicago where she tries her best to follow the first rule of punk: be yourself. MalĂș is a lovable character and her struggles with her parents, her identity, and her friends are very real to life. I loved the artistic zines scattered throughout the book, too!


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This book was an absolute joy to read. Dimple and Rishi meet at a tech camp the summer before college they are in very different places. Dimple is avoiding her parents persistence to consider an arranged marriage. Meanwhile, Rishi is a hopeless romantic ready to woo Dimple into falling in love with him. This book is funny, sweet, adorable, and just a delight to read.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Spoiler alert: they both die at the end! Even though you know it going in, it still hurts when you get there. This book covers all the tough stuff: life, love, family, and death as we get to know that characters Mateo and Rufus in just one day.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Wow, what a powerful debut novel by Angie Thomas. This book inspired by the Black Live Matter movement is a must read. Starr Carter lives in two worlds: one her black neighborhood and the other her white school. One night, her life changes forever when she witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil's death at the hands of a police officer.


This year I didn't read a lot of adult fiction books, but I did read a this non-fiction title by Joanna Faber and Julie Adair King. How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen has been very useful in my interactions with young humans at the library and at home. Anyone who has little ones in their life will find this book useful! Joanna and Julie have a very realistic approach to life with young kids. Many of their tips are ways to re-frame challenges and build up communications skills of both the adults and the children.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Wordless (and Nearly Wordless) Picture Books

Have you ever read a picture book with out any words? Wordless picture books are great for developing storytelling skills like narration, description, and sequencing. They are excellent learning tools for pre-readers, beginning readers, and older children alike.

Check out one of these beautiful books to share with a child in your life. Talk about the pictures and what you see in each page. What story to the pictures tell? What moods and feelings do they bring up? Who are the characters and what are they thinking and doing?

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
This book showcases an adorable, charming dancing duo. It has be followed by a series of books featuring Flora and others including Flora and the PenguinFlora and the PeacocksFlora and the OstrichFlora and the Chicks.

Journey, Quest, and Return by Aaron Becker
This trilogy follows a young girl and boy on epic adventures to castles, forests, ancient kingdoms and more. The detailed illustrations build a rich and inviting world for readers to enter.

A Ball for Daisy by Christopher Raschka
Daisy the dog loves playing with her ball. What will she do when her ball is lost? Children will love reading about the adorable Daisy.

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack
Just two works are found in this funny book about a frog. The ups and downs of life as a frog are reflected in each page.

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim
This beautifully illustrated book has just one work repeated through it: "La". A little girl is alone when she starts to sing. No one calls back to her, but she persists in sharing her song with the world.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Next month we will be reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain for book club.  Mark Twain is the pen name used by Samuel Clemens.  Samuel Clemens was born in 1835 and died in 1910 at the age of 74.  He was a writer of novels, poetry, short stories, essays, and nonfiction.

For more information on Mark Twain, visit

If you are interested in reading some of his novels, take a look at the list below.

Want to learn more about Mark Twain?  Here are some books that will get you started.

Monday, November 20, 2017


It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here!  Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season for many people.  What does this mean?  It means a lot of family functions, food, and fun.  Whether you are hosting the holidays, volunteering to bring one item, or just looking for new recipe ideas, we have plenty of options for you. 

Cooking Books:
Mad Hungry Family by Lucinda Scala Quinn
Tasty Fall Cooking by Gooseberry Patch
Adventures in Slow Cooking by Sarah Digregorio
Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good

Baking Books:
Holiday Cupcakes by Anne Rigg
One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti
Great Gluten-Free Baking by Louise Blair
How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman
The Harvest Baker by Ken Haedrich
Delicious Dump Cakes by Roxanne Wyss

Monday, November 13, 2017


Hollywood has had an impact on movies since the early 20th century, and since that time, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.  The major studios in Hollywood produce some of the most successful movies in the world.

Whether you are looking for a glimpse into Hollywood or for more information on a favorite actor or actress, biographies are a great place to start.  Check out one of these biographies today!

Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner
By Myself and Then Some by Lauren Bacall
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Bossypants by Tina Fey
What If by Shirley MacLaine
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Unsinkable by Debbie Reynolds
Charlie Chaplin by Peter Ackroyd
Child Star by Shirley Temple Black

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Monday, November 6, 2017


November is National Adoption Month.  This is an initiative of the Children's Bureau that seeks to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for families for children and youth in the foster care system.  This year's theme is Teens Need Families, No Matter What.  Oftentimes, teens will age out of the foster care system without a stable support system.

For more information about adoption and this year's initiative, visit and

Here is a list of some books centering around adoption, foster care, and adopted main characters.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Pictures from and

Monday, October 30, 2017

Thor & Ragnarok: A Super Book List for Teens

Are you excited for the next installment of the Marvel superhero movies? Thor: Ragnarok comes out next week. This movie pits Thor, the superhero character based on the Norse deity, against the Hulk as he fights to save the world. If you're a fan of these movies, you might enjoy some of these books.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series by Rick Riordan
There are two books out in this series, The Sword of Summer, and The Hammer of Thor, with more to come. Similar to Riordan's other series, this one follows a young man who finds out he is the son of a Norse god.

Thor: Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis
A non-fictional account of the legend of Thor and its historical context.

The Blackwell Pages Series by Kelly Armstrong
A trilogy for a slightly younger audience about thirteen year old descendants of the gods who must fight for their survival as Ragnarok approaches

Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge by Donna Jo Napoli
An illustrated collection of Norse myths with art by Christina Balit. For a more in depth telling of these stories, try Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

The World According to Thor by Mark Sumerac
An in depth look at Asgard's mighty warrior, Thor, with illustrations by Freddie E. Williams II.

If you can't wait for the new movie, check out one of these other films featuring Thor!

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